The expected return of Jacoby Jones could give a boost to the value of the Texans' D/ST.
Another week, another chance to win a great prize in the (free) HoustonTexans.com Home Team Challenge. Last week's winner received an autographed Amobi Okoye mini-helmet. Here are my picks to try to help you bring home the bacon in Week 6, the bacon being a mini-helmet autographed by 2006 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year DeMeco Ryans:
SIGN ME UP RB Brian Westbrook, PHI, 51 (@ NYJ): He missed a game due to injury and then had a bye week, but in his last healthy performance, Westbrook destroyed the Lions for 221 yards from scrimmage and three TDs. He sounds like he'll play this week but you obviously wouldn't use him if he doesn't, so be sure to watch this one closely. If he does end up playing, watch your team's point total skyrocket with Westbrook going up against a New York Jets' defense that's almost as bad as the Lions' in both scoring (27th vs. 31st) and yards allowed (28th vs. 29th).
WR Dwayne Bowe, KC, 25 (vs. CIN): A hot WR against a weak passing defense at a cheap price. Bowe is the Chiefs' leading receiver, with more yards than TE Tony Gonzalezand with three of the Chiefs' four receiving TDs in 2007. He has at least four receptions and 70 yards in each of the last three games, and that includes Week 5 against the stingy seventh-rated Jaguars pass defense. The Bengals are 26th in passing yards allowed per game and have surrendered at least three passing TDs to three straight opponents (Cleveland, 5; Seattle, 3; New England, 3). Sounds good to me.
NO THANKS QB Tony Romo, DAL, 76 (vs. NE): Last week, Romo threw interception after interception after interception after interception after interception (that's five) against the worst passing defense in the NFL. Call it an aberration, and find comfort that Romo is playing at home this week with a chip on his shoulder and playing in the marquee matchup of the season thus far. But remember that he's going against one of the elite defenses in the NFL, assume that his confidence is at least a little bit frail right now, consider that he's sandwiched by two much safer picks, and say it with me: He's not worth it.
Alternatives: Tom Brady, NE, 83 (@ DAL); Carson Palmer, CIN, 75 (@ KC)
WR Steve Smith, CAR, 40 (@ ARI): The Cardinals' pass defense is ranked in the bottom half of the league both in yards allowed per game and TDs, but who's going to get Mighty Mouse the ball? With QB Jake Delhomme out for the season, David Carr was supposed to be the man to do so and played decently in leading Carolina to a win last week, finding Smith for a TD. But Carr has missed practice this week with back soreness and the Panthers signed 43-year old Vinny Testaverde as insurance. Even if Carr plays, Smith isn't quite the option he was with Delhomme. If Testaverde plays, I don't think I need to be the one to tell you that Smith's value goes way down. You don't want to pick a guy on the grounds that he'll defy logic to have a banner day, and that'd be what you're doing if you use Steve Smith.
Alternatives: Plaxico Burress, NYG, 43 (@ ATL); Larry Fitzgerald, ARI, 32 (vs. CAR)
TEXANS FANTASY SPIN
The Jaguars defense ranks second in the league in points allowed (10.2) and seventh in yards allowed…Texans RB Ahman Green(23 points) has been practicing at full speed and should return to the field but faces a tough matchup…TE Owen Daniels(16) continues to have a low price tag, even though he has established himself as the Texans' leading pass catcher. He's a more attractive fantasy option than the Texans' WRs because he doesn't have to compete for catches with TEs Jeb Putzierand Mark Bruener, and the Jags allowed Chiefs TE Tony Gonzalezeight receptions for 100 yards last week…K Kris Brown(32) is officially the most expensive kicker in fantasy football. With the points he's been racking up lately, he may well be worth the price…the Texans' D/ST (30) faces a Jags offense with scoring woes, ranking 25th with 15.8 points/game. The value of the special teams goes up if WR Jacoby Jonesplays as expected and returns punts, thereby increasing the potential of a return TD.
To register for the Home Team Challenge, click **here*. Make sure to set your lineups by Sun., Oct. 14 at 10:00 a.m.*